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New Nike shoes to be delivered to local elementary students

H.E.A.R.T. raised money to buy 500 pairs of new Nike shoes to give to underprivileged students at five local elementary schools

In 2009, Hand Extended Across Reaching Together (H.E.A.R.T.) donated 200 pairs of shoes to local children. Every year they say they get more schools asking, "How can we get shoes for our students?"

This year, for their "Shoes from the H.E.A.R.T." campaign, the group collected 500 pairs of Nike shoes, which they began packing and organizing on Wednesday. All of the shoes are being distributed to five local elementary schools for underprivileged students.

"If you could see the faces of these kids, and also see the shoes that they take off, and they put on that pair of shoes, it's just heartwarming," says Fundraiser Coordinator Ruby Hayes.

H.E.A.R.T. members say they want to give new shoes to the kids to help build the children's self esteem.

"That's why we're choosing to get a god shoe; a shoe that a child would say, 'I have a brand new pair of Nikes.' Some child has never had a pair of Nikes," says H.E.A.R.T. President Anne Johnson Milledge.

Even though H.E.A.R.T. says didn't receive the community support they anticipated, they still managed to get all 500 pairs of shoes that they promised.

"The sad thing is that we are not able to give every child a pair of shoes. Each school has about 400 kids in the school and they'll only get 100 pairs of shoes," says Milledge.

While the group aims to assist the children, it may be more than the kids getting help. Hayes says she believes sometimes the program helps its members more than it helps the children.

"It just thrills our heart. This is the season for giving and we're just so excited that we're able to help," says Milledge.

Below is a schedule of when and where the shoes will be distributed:

Tuesday, Dec. 7, 10:00 a.m. -- Turner Elementary (Partners in Excellence)
Wednesday, Dec. 8, 10:00 a.m. -- Jackson Heights Elementary
Wednesday, Dec. 8, 1:00 p.m. -- Sylvester Road Elementary
Thursday, Dec. 9, 10:00 a.m. -- Morningside Elementary
Thursday, Dec. 9, 1:00 p.m. -- Martin Luther King Elementary

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